Ryan Lochte, the US swimming star embroiled in a fake mugging scandal, could be suspended by the American Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, according to reports. There is no word on how long the suspension will be, but CNN sports reporter Christine Brennan claims he narrowly avoided a lifetime ban after falsely claiming he was mugged at gunpoint.

The swimmer, 32, who won gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Rio Games, had claimed that he and three of his teammates were mugged at gunpoint by men pretending to be police.

Lochte's story unravelled during the following week, after CCTV footage revealed Lochte had been detained by armed security guards.

On Friday, 19 August, Gunnar Bentz, one of Lochte's teammates, released a statement through the University of Georgia confirming he and his teammates had been detained by armed security guards during a night out and ordered to pay a fine, after they had urinated in public, and Lochte had vandalised a petrol station and behaved aggressively towards the guards.

Fernando Veloso, the head of Rio's civil police, has said: "No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed."

Lochte issued an apology on his Instagram page overnight on 19 August. The apology confirmed that four members of its swimming team, including Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen and Jack Conger, had not been mugged.

A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on

In his apology, Lochte wrote: "I want to apologise for my behaviour last weekend – for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams if participating in the Olympics.

"I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely."

"It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country – with a language barrier – and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behaviour of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event.

"I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.

ryan lochte
US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte claimed he was robbed at gunpoint by criminals posing as policeman at the Rio 2016 Olympic games Getty